Celebration

We were fortunate to attend a traditional Maasai wedding celebration.  The father of the groom welcomed us into his village by offering a few group members Chai tea.  Chai is a big deal and a huge sign of respect if offered a glass.  One of our group members was allowed to take a few pictures of the event, so when I get his pictures, I’ll be sure to post.  In the Maasai culture, the bride is not the center of attention at the wedding.  We never saw the bride.  She was kept hidden.  She traveled to her new home a few days before the wedding with her family.  Because she is new to the village, she spends a few days getting to know everyone and everything.  While she is “setting up house”, the men start the celebration.  They stand in a circle and do some very cool chanting.  One or two of the men will go inside the circle and jump up and down.  They do this for 2 reasons:

1.  They are trying to impress the ladies – whoever jumps the highest and pumps their shoulders the most is the strongest.

2.  They are retelling different tribal stories and celebrating each one.

While they are doing the jumping and neck/shoulder pumping, the ladies and children are standing around them.  When the men are finished, the ladies circle around the group of warriors and chant along.  Once they are finished, they start all over again.  They will do this for hours and hours.  It was really interesting to watch.  I wanted so bad to jump in the middle of the circle and see how high I could jump, but I probably would have been deheaded!  haha!

We attended 2 services at the local church.  We were fortunate to have our very own Pastor Rick lead this trip!  He was asked to provide the sermon both Sundays!  It was easy to understand what he was preaching….most of the time 😉  Philemon is the evangelist for the village and a few surrounding villages.  His wife and 5 kids live 6 hours away – by foot.  He sees them about once a month or so.  One night he stopped by to talk with us and show us pictures.  He was so happy to share a little bit of his life with us.  It was really cool to sit with him and have him share a little bit about his life.  Before he left, we prayed for him and 2 of our members stood over him while we prayed.  A few days later, Philemon came back and said he felt so inspired and encouraged by the last prayer, that he wanted us to pray for him again.  We all stood over him while a few of us prayed.  Philemon doesn’t speak English.  We prayed in English, both times.  If that doesn’t show you a little power from God, I don’t know what will!

There is a boarding school in the village.  We were fortunate to visit the school and talk with some of the teachers.  It’s amazing how little supplies they have but what great things they are teaching.  Most of the teachers speak English, some better than others.  We always had a translator with us, which was really helpful.  We visited 2 classrooms, Standard 7(7th grade) and Standard 1(1st grade).  The 7th grade classroom had about 60 students and the 1st grade had over 100.  They squeeze 3-4 kids in a desk.  The desks remind me of the ones you would see on Little House on the Praire.  They have chalkboards.  The chalk stinks.  It breaks quite easily and it is not dustless.  That is one our list of things to try to send, dustless chalk!

We sang a few songs for the classrooms.  One of our members brought a guitar and a made songbooks that we used at our nightly devotions.  We taught the kids a few songs with motions and then I led the 1st graders in Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.  They taught us a song in Swahili about standing, sitting, and jupming!  I took a few videos of the kids singing.

The first video is from the Standard 7 class.  As you are watching, take note of the uniforms.  The girls are in blue dresses and the boys a blue shirt and khaki shorts.  It doesn’t matter if they are torn, too big, too small – they wear it.  Notice how bare the walls are.  No bulletin boards.  You’ll probably also notice the age ranges.  Most kids do not start school at age 5.  They start when their parents can afford it and can afford to not have them at home anymore watching the other siblings, animals, etc….

The second video is in the Stanard 1.  There are a few kids who are sitting in the front, not in uniform.  They are children of a few teachers.  I hope you are blown away by the amount of kids in this class.  Guess how many teachers they have……1!!!  I asked the teachers about discipline and they said they don’t have too many issues.  I told them about the fights my kids had last year….they were shocked.  They asked if we “hit” the kids.  Unfortunately no, I said!  They use a small branch or stick to get kids inline.

I can’t get the videos to load on the blog, so I put them on Youtube.

Standard 7 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zn4bRNI_2rA

Standard 1 –  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzHp50Lrc1U

I’ve blabbed too much this morning.  Enjoy the videos!

 

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3 Responses to “Celebration”

  1. Lori Osgood Says:

    You haven’t blabbed too much 🙂 I’m enjoying reading about your adventures! Very inspiring 🙂

  2. musictchr24 Says:

    Thanks Lori!!!!

  3. Mom Says:

    Thanks for posting the videos, Jen. They are great!

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